If the internet has done nothing else, it has made the parochial world of proprietary systems appear outdated. Software architecture "A" now had better interoperate with software architecture "B", or risk rejection as now being unfit for purpose. And all of them need to interoperate with language "X" and application "Z". But in …
1 Oxen or 1000 beavers?
Nice to see people are starting to realize that those "nasty old mainframes" aren't so bad after all. It's really amazing how over the years the Wintel/Solaris marketeers have cast such an impression of leprosy on large-scale, mainframe business systems, when the truth of the matter is that each platform has it's own unique strengths, and when properly exploited, compliment each other with suprisingly positive results. Even more prevalent than IMS, CICS(Customer Information Control System), or Transaction Server as it is now called, is widely used in Government, Hospitals, and the privates sector as it is probably the most robust and reliable transaction processor currently availble, however, it's shortcoming is it's user interface, primarily 3270 green screen but IBM added web capabilities 15 years ago, yet nonetheless it is still clunky and cumbersome to develop green screens or web pages underneath. What has resulted is the trend of using of MQ as the SOA "service bus" for application components on the various platforms is growing, as it makes it relatively easy to leverage disparate systems and architectures into a unified, effective and efficient solution. After all, The beavers do a great job of felling the trees, but you're going to want the Ox to pull the wagon.
HP's 'legacy' systems
HP did not make the decision to give VMS and NonStop 'a new lease on life', nor has it invested significantly in any such effort. Compaq made the decision to port them to Itanic rather than scrap them outright when it elected to scrap Alpha (a decision that had been in the making for a couple of years, not one at all associated with the imminent HP merger announcement) - reportedly with significant help from Intel in funding the migration (Intel believing in mid-2001 that visible support for Itanic was worth a large fraction of $1 billion in porting support, though whether it will ever get any more return on that expenditure than on the many other $billions poured down that sink-hole remains unclear).
Since that time Compaq and later HP have done little more than (barely) keep them alive, so one should probably not hold one's breath for any greater commitment - nor hold them up as examples of any kind of 'legacy integration' into the 'service-based world'.
Mainframes were always there
There is irony in relegating mainframes to the "dusty past". Berniers-Lee wrote in his biography of the web that the first web server outside of CERN came up on a S/360 (written in Rexx).
Mainframes are still here, still in use
Irony indeed. When I first worked as a journalist, my News Editor refused to believe that the bank I'd just walked out of still depended on mainframes - and was likely to do so for a long time (despite our IT director promising to migrate it all to NeXT in a year or so).
And, iirc, the first non-Microsoft compiler for NT was FORTRAN - but that's another story (and I really do prefer COBOL - or Rexx).
And, as an aside, Web html programming is a lot like mainframe 3270. But, then, the web browser model is really 3270 terminal in software... :-)
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